Linguistic and nonlinguistic priming in aphasia

Elizabeth Bates, Paola Marangolo, Luigi Pizzamiglio, Frederic Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies of real-time processing in aphasia suggest that linguistic symptoms may be due to deficits in activation dynamics rather than loss of linguistic knowledge. To investigate the domain specificity of such processing deficits, we compared performance by Italian-speaking fluent aphasics, nonfluent aphasics, and normal controls in a linguistic priming task (grammatical gender) with their performance in a color-priming task that requires no verbal mediation. Normal or larger than normal color-priming effects were demonstrated in both aphasic groups. Gender priming did not reach significance in either group, even though the patients displayed above-chance sensitivity to gender class and gender agreement in their accuracy scores. The demonstration of spared gender knowledge despite impaired gender priming underscores the utility of on-line techniques in the study of aphasia. The demonstration of spared color priming suggests that priming deficits in aphasia are either (1) specific to speech and language or (2) specific only to those sensorimotor and attentional processes that language shares with other nonlinguistic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-69
Number of pages8
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Health Professions(all)


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